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Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

“So what does that have to do with me?” you ask. “I write poetry/essays/greeting cards/short stories/fortune cookies/memoir/cookbooks/etc.”

Point well taken. But you are a writer, correct? And people all around the world are gearing up to engage in a massive frenzy of writing, creating all sorts of activities and events and infrastructure to support the work of writing for 30 whole days.

So drop the novel bit. Drop the national bit, too. Let November be your WriMo, your Writing Month. Write whatever you want. Write something different every day, if you want. Be part of that river of creativity that is about to be unleashed.

Just write.

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In the spirit of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), here are a couple of interesting posts on story lines and plotting. (If you know of others, please let us know about them in the comments.)

The first, from Roz Morris of Nail Your Novel, talks about how most stories can be broken into four parts, even if there are only three acts. (Hint: the second act has two parts.) This can be a useful device for both plot planning during the writing phase and for plot analysis during the editing phase.

The second, by Bill Boyd, The Literacy Advisor, is essentially a summary of Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots, which looks at plot from the reader’s point of view. Since our audience is pretty much made up of readers, this can be a great way to think about our writing. It could help some of us get past those stuck places we all seem to run up against from time to time and might even inspire some to venture down a different road in the next story.

Whether you’re engaged in the madcap frenzy of NaNoWriMo or churning along at your own pace, what kind of resources or tools do you use to plot and frame your stories?

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What’s NaNoWriMo, you may ask? It’s the quirky acronym for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place each November. Aspiring novelists strive to get 50,000 words on paper between 12:01 a.m. November 1 and 11:59 p.m. November 30.

In 2010, more than 200,000 writers registered at the NaNoWriMo web site, and over 30,000 of those submitted a qualifying (length is the only requirement) manuscript by the deadline. Unofficial participation isn’t recorded, of course, but the numbers are no doubt equally impressive. (We writers are by and large a rather timid lot, after all.)

Lexington’s NaNoWriMo group has already held it’s first planning meeting and scheduled several write-in dates around town. For more information, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/regions/usa-kentucky-lexington. (Our own write-ins, by the way, were inspired by the NaNoWriMo model.)

Several ECWG members have participated in the event over the years, both officially and unofficially. Even those who didn’t reach the lofty 50,000 word goal reported that they made enormous progress toward their writing goals. And that’s what it’s all about: getting the words down on paper.

Even if the novel isn’t your genre of choice, think about ways to use all that global writing momentum in the month of November to move YOU toward your own writing goals.

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NaNoWriMo begins today!

National Novel Writing Month, that is: 50,000 words in 30 days. But you don’t have to do it alone: the Lexington group has write-ins scheduled throughout the month, so stop in as often as you are able and GET SOME WRITING DONE!

Lexington NaNoWriMo: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/287

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